Monday, January 02, 2006

Crazy Stuff & Moments of Sunshine

I've been noticing some weird stuff lately, and I wonder if it is just a post-op thing, or a newly scrambled brain thing, or (hopefully not) a new tumor popping up somewhere. For example:

1. I get really, REALLY cold very easily. This has been the case for a long time before my surgery, to the extent that I even had my thyroid checked a couple of years ago. It was normal.
2. I stutter a little bit. Not a whole lot, and maybe it isn't really noticeable, but I sometimes repeat sentences or phrases when I am speaking (kind of like Porky Pig).
3. Today I have had several random feelings of anxiety, which is scary, because the temporal lobe of the brain (where I'm healing from surgery AND where the cancer is) is where the amygdala is located - where "fight or flight" comes from.
4. My memory is pretty good, but once in a while I misplace something, and I get really angry about it! I have a very low threshold for frustration, and I get really impatient at times.
5. I am surrounded with lots of good information, including books about managing and beating cancer, experiences from people who are glioblastoma survivors, and information from treatment centers that offer novel treatments with great results. But for some reason, I can't bring myself to delve into that information. It's just too much to bear right now. And I worry, because it may be life-saving or life-extending information, and yet I freeze at the thought of getting into it. It's irrational, and hopefully I'll get past this at some point, but for now it's just crazy.
6. Sometimes I have silly hallucinations. When I was in the hospital I would see fleeting images of people, and I even thought my son was in my bed with me. Later, I would see things like a mylar balloon creeping up the kitchen blinds, or a chandelier drop down in front of me, or smoke coming out my husband's head, or the walls peeling back like the turning of a page. And now that doesn't happen as much, but sometimes I "see" little clusters of Christmas lights that aren't really there.
7. Sometimes I feel like a seizure is coming on, but it doesn't happen. It still feels kind of scary and yucky.
8. Sometimes I really get the blues after I talk to someone. The talking part is actually very nice. But sometimes there is a contrasting let-down afterward, like I'm facing the reality of it all over again.
9. I can't hear as well as I used to. It's not really bad, but it's almost like I sometimes can't process what someone is saying, even if I can hear them talking. I say, "what?" a lot.
10. As much as I loved music during my immediate recovery (thanks to my husband who got me an IPod Shuffle and a pillow with speakers built in it, and downloaded lots of my favorite songs), I can't bring myself to listen to it anymore. I think it's because I'm afraid of associating music with a sad situation, because music has always transported me back to whatever it was linked to.

Sometimes this whole thing can just seem so darn sad, and so weird. But sometimes I have these wonderful moments of sunshine that I wish I could capture and keep forever. For example, my husband just came back from the hardware store, and he made a side trip to bring me home a vase of flowers. And my son has a habit lately of throwing his arms around my neck and saying "I love you." And today we went for a walk as a family, with my husband pushing our daughter in the stroller, and my son riding his new Christmas bike next to us. It was a welcome opportunity to finally start exercising again, and it felt good.

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